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Two House members, Reps. John D. Dingell of Michigan and Ralph M. Hall of Texas, are now the last remaining members of Congress to have served World War II.

Less than one-quarter of the Senate now has any military experience, a dramatic departure from 1977 when the number of veterans serving in the Senate reached an all-time high: 81.

The Senate historian’s office said the first World War II vet was elected to the upper chamber in the 1940s and the list includes some of the most memorable political figures in the history of the United States, including Barry Goldwater, Joseph McCarthy and Richard M. Nixon.

“The World War II era in American politics ended long ago, when the votes of veterans of the war slipped below the threshold of notice by lawmakers and candidates,” said H.W. Brands, a history professor at the University of Texas.

“But the presence of men like Frank Lautenberg occasionally concentrated minds in the Senate on the seriousness of what they had been sent to Washington to do. And it reminded people caught up in the troubles of the present that America has overcome challenges far greater than any we face today,” he said.